Biker Shark Tank? Female Powersports Entrepreneurs Wanted

It could be considered the Shark Tank for our biker world, a motorcycle industry group wants to help female powersports entrepreneurs to success.

Officially called the Motorcycle Industry Council’s PowerLily Gas Tank Mentorship Program, it’ll coach women entrepreneurs in creating successful business plans. Aimed at female powersports entrepreneurs with great ideas for new products or services, assistance comes from a major power house in the motorcycle industry.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has been around since 1914 and exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues.

PowerLily, an MIC Aftermarket subcommittee, is a network of professional women in the powersports industry committed to expanding opportunities for women in the industry and by providing programs for professional growth, education and leadership opportunities.

An example of what this program can do was seen on October 14, 2016 at AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida, when five female powersports finalists presented their business plans to powersports industry leaders. Debra Chin, creator of MotoChic, stylish gear for women on the move, was selected as the 2016 Gas Tank winner. Additional finalists included: Katie McKay, ModernMoto Magazine; Gina Woods, Open Road Incredible Edibles; Alisa Clickenger, Women Motorcycle Tours; and Ashley Simpson, Vixen Riding Gear.

Finalists in the latest edition of the program will have an opportunity to exhibit their business or product, and present their business plans in-person to influential leaders in the powersports industry at AIMExpo 2017. The business pitches will be evaluated based on numerous factors including, but not limited to, financial growth potential, overall strategic plan, strategic partners, scalability, innovation, impact and viability.

“The opportunity to showcase the fresh thinking and unique talent of women who are passionate about powersports to industry VIPs is proof of our commitment to PowerLily and innovation,” said Sarah Schilke, chair of PowerLily and national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad.

Sarah Schilke, chair of PowerLily and national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad

The application process involves the submission of a short “elevator pitch” video and written answers to a series of questions. Applications will be reviewed for subject and industry segment, so that each participant can be matched with an industry mentor who will provide the participant with guidance and counsel as they hone and prepare a detailed business plan which is due on June 15, 2017.

Applications to participate in the program are available here with the deadline for submitting applications being February 28, 2017.

“We’ve already secured several impressive industry leaders who have signed on as mentors,” said Cam Arnold of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “This is an impressive group with vast experience in a variety of industry segments. They will help Gas Tank participants with invaluable insight, wisdom and decades of experience.”

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